Gempei War


Samurai Armor of the Yamabuki era

Some people find ancient Japanese armor fascinating. In Cold Rain, Yamabuki finds an armor maker to repair a gash to her chest protector. Japanese armor was solid, but unlike the kind of armor seen in The Game of Thrones, it was not plate. Part of it was made of steel pieces called kozane and other …

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“J” is for Journey Gempei War

“J” is for Journey

Life is a journey, not a destination. Ralph Waldo Emerson A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. Joseph Campbell …

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Authenticity in Japanese Samurai Films – Gempei Wars

To most Westerners, Japanese samurai films show Japan after the Tokugawa Shogunate–from about 1600 and onward–replete with two-sword retainers with shaved pates, clean shaven for the most part, and living in a very regimented society with strict adherence to the rules set down by the Shogunate. But like my earlier post, “Murasaki’s World – Heian …

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Murasaki's World – Heian Japan

The Japan of the Heian period, 794-1185, unsurprisingly was different from popular images of medieval Japan. In writing the Yamabuki series, as much as I could, I looked to experts in the field who understood what the Heian period was, and also what it was not. “If the informed Westerner was asked to enumerate the …

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Woman samurai

Woman warrior during the Gempei Wars. Several women fought in the Gempei Wars, 1180-1185, for control of Japan.

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